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2016-12-08 15.13.21“Do you think that’s an appropriate book to be reading here?”

In hindsight she was probably being silly.

We took her seriously.

The rest is history.

Starbucked At Tim Hortons

The book? Onward by Howard Shultz, founder of Starbucks. Our Ironman Leadership group had chosen Onward as our next book to be dissected in search of leadership and business principles. The problem? We were reading it at the Tim Hortons where we met for our weekly discussions.

At the time NONE of our group were patrons of Starbucks.

However, since we were reading a book about Starbucks and now that Tim Hortons might not be the most hospitable place to read such a book, why not visit a Starbucks?starbucks


The next week, a barrista – a new term for all of us – served us grande lattes. That day, eight years ago, we decided to move onward from Hortons to Howard’s place.

Now our entire group are card-carrying, app using Starbucks loyalty customers.

That’s one reason why Onward was deemed to be #1 in the Ironman All-Time Top Leadership books.

If you’re looking for a book this Christmas that will challenge your thinking and inform your behavior, we highly recommend any of the following:

8 To Be Great

1. Delivering Happiness – Tony HsiehDelivering Happiness

Tony shares the lessons he has learned in business and life, from starting a worm farm to running a pizza business; through LinkExchange (acquired by Microsoft for $265 million), Zappos (acquired by Amazon for $1.2 billion), and more.

Tony shows how by concentrating on the happiness of those around you, you can dramatically increase your own.


2. Start – John Acuff Start_jacket.indd

Start will have you thinking about your life in a serious manner, but with a smile on your face. This book is not about the finish line instead it is about starting to chase your dream. 

Acuff observes, “The starting line is the only line you completely control.”  The encouragement to start before you may have everything figured out was helpful. It’s good to know that other people get lost in learning and that the only way to combat this is to start.


3. The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey7 habits

The Covey classic is timeless in its application. Its been a top-seller (25 million copies sold) for the simple reason that it ignores trends and pop psychology for proven principles of fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity.

Covey argues against what he calls “The Personality Ethic”, something he sees as prevalent in many modern self-help books. He promotes what he labels “The Character Ethic”: aligning one’s values with so-called “universal and timeless” principles – most of which are based on the Bible.


4. Beyond Success – Brian Biro

5. Mindset – Carol Dweck

6. Integrity – Dr Henry Cloud

7. The Spark – Kristine Barnett

8. Grit To Great – Linda Thaler, Robin Kaplan 

The Top Three Trilogies

Books by Jim Collins
Good To Great
  *** Great By Choice ***Built To Last

Our favorite trilogy. By far! These three books together are enough to build a prevailing church, a great company or an overcoming life.

collins books

Books by Malcolm Gladwell
David and Goliath
*** What The Dog Saw *** OutliersGladwell books

Books by Patrick Lencioni
Death by Meeting *** The Advantage ***5 Dysfunctions Of A Team lencioni books

Honorable Mention

Winning – Jack Welch

The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg

Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki

Mavericks At Work – William Taylor, Polly LaBare

Feel the Fear – Susan Jeffers

Essentialism – Greg McKeown

Start With Why – Simon Sinek2016-12-08 15.18.27

APPLICATION: Read any of the above? Got another favorite? Please leave a comment below.

I write to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose. If this material is helpful to you, please follow me.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

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